“Great and glorious God, my Lord Jesus Christ! I implore thee to enlighten me and to disperse the darkness of my soul! Give me true faith and firm hope and a perfect charity! Grant me, O Lord, to know thee so well that in all things I may act by thy light, and in accordance with thy holy will!” – St. Francis of Assisi
This year was the first time that I observed Easter in the purpose for which it was intended: a 50-day celebration of Jesus’ sucker-punch into the face of death; a 50-day party at the end of a three-day test match that ended with the score, Jesus 1, Death 0. The joy that comes with a true Easter has carried me through one of the most difficult times of my life.
Though some Christians do not believe in the physical occurrence of the Resurrection, it is an almost universal agreement that Easter represents a powerful truth: we need not fear death. “Peace be with you,” (John 20:19) which Jesus says to his disciples as he appears to them, is both a blessing and a reassurance. Being crucified did not end the mission, so don’t worry, Jesus is telling his fearful disciples.
Through the Resurrection, the Christ of Faith lives on in our hearts through the presence of the Holy Spirit. The Jesus of History lives on in the billions of people who have been Christians throughout the religion’s 2,000-year history. Both spiritually and intellectually, Jesus pulls an Obi-Wan Kenobi, effectively telling the world: “If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.”
It’s powerful stuff! And it’s also the reason why I’m not sitting in a dark room munching on Cheetos and playing Starcraft at 2 o’clock in the morning. You see, this joyous time has seen my marriage fall apart. My wife of five years will be moving out of the house in less than two weeks. All of a sudden, I have to face being alone, going back to work, learning how to organize my life, and helping guide my kids through what is going to be a very confusing time for them.
Thank God this has been happening during Easter season. And thank God I have faith to sustain me. Have I struggled with depression? Yes. Have I lapsed into old sinful habits? Of course. But while in the past I would have spiraled into a pit of despair and self-loathing, I am instead emerging as sad, but confident that I will make it through. With the knowledge that death could not stop Jesus, I thrive in the knowledge that divorce will not stop me from striving to follow him.